Limonana is one of the most popular drinks when you visit the Middle East. It's wonderfully refreshing and an absolute cinch to make! I also make this every time I have an excess of mint. Dear Reader, this is a pushy recipe!
The name Limonana is made up of the two key ingredients: lemon (limon) and mint (nana) and was said to originate in Syria or Turkey. The word Limonana also has a funny story behind it. It was the result of a fake ad campaign in Israel where they advertised a drink called Limonana on the sides of buses. Except the drink never existed and it was a stunt to demonstrate how effective bus advertising was. But now everyone knows limonana as a drink that is made with lemons, mint and sugar and it is an even more refreshing version of lemonade, often made into a slushie.
It quenches the thirst perfectly and you can make it as sweet as you want. I hope that you'll try and make this at least once although I suspect that if you try it once, it won't be the last time you make it. The only thing you need is a good blender, preferably a high speed blender. Otherwise you can make it in a regular food processor but be sure to use crushed ice and chop up the lemons quite small.
I made this batch when I had a bunch of mint left over from a shoot and I didn't have any plans to make anything else with it until I remembered one of my favourite ever things to drink is this slushie and it was a warm day. I had my heart set on making it because I wanted to drink it. Except when I went to find it I couldn't find it. Turns out it was bunched together with coriander. Oops!
I have mentioned how Mr NQN has selective blindness. However I had another instance of it recently. I searched in my bag for a voucher I was given. I couldn't find it at all-admittedly my handbag is like a bottomless abyss and I can't ever find anything in it. Mr NQN watched me scramble around in it like a monkey looking for a banana. "I must have left it in the Uber!" I said to him.
I went onto the Uber app and looked for how to find lost items. That led me to a message where I could ask the driver and within a few seconds my phone rang. It was calling the driver directly! He was clearly at home, tired with the tv on loudly in the background. "Yeah," he answered.
I explained my predicament and asked if he had found anything. "Nope, I clean my car at the end of every shift and there was nothing," he answered. I thanked him and figured that my voucher was lost.
Mr NQN asked, "Do you want me to look for it in your bag?" and I nodded yes. And sitting at the top of my bag was the voucher. "How did you not see this?" he said shaking his head. It's exactly what I say to him in the same incredulous tone when he can't find something!
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever tried Limonana? Do you have selective blindness?
Mint Lemon Slushie or Limonana
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 7 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes
Makes around 6 glasses of limonada
- 1.5 cups ice cubes
- 2 lemons, roughly chopped up skin and all but seeds removed
- 1 bunch mint, leaves only, washed
- 2 cups chilled water
- 1 cup sugar (or to taste)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
Step 1 - Place the ice cubes and lemons in a high powered blender (I used my Oster Versa blender) and whizz to produce a slushy ice. Add the mint, water, sugar and lemon juice and process. Serve as is. You can make this up a few hours ahead of time and serve as is or strained.